ISLAMABAD, December 5, 2013: Starting an hour and 45 minutes behind schedule, fifth sitting of the 5th session of Punjab Assembly was marked by low attendance of MPAs, says Free and Fair Election Network in its daily Factsheet.
A total of 44 Members (12%) among the House of 371 were present at the outset while 25 (7%) were there at the adjournment of sitting. Although quorum was found lacking on various occasions, it was not pointed out by any of the Members.
The House continued discussion on law and order in the country, as 11 MPAs expressed their views on the situation for an hour and 28 minutes (39% of the total proceeding time).
Nine Adjournment Motions, tabled in the House, were related to the release of funds for MPAs, education, health, infrastructure development, killing of a boy in torture cell, eatable commodities and increment of pensioners ordered by Supreme Court.
The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for one hour and 35 minutes.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The Punjab Assembly met for three hours and 47 minutes.
- The sitting witnessed a delay of an hour and 45 minutes, as it started at 1145 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- Forty-four Members were present at the outset of proceeding while 25 were there at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 105 Members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for an hour and 10 minutes while the remaining two hours and 37 minutes proceeding was presided over by Deputy Speaker.
- The Chief Minister was absent while the Leader of the Opposition was present for one hour and 35 minutes.
- The Parliamentary leaders of PPPP and JI attended the sitting.
- Five Minority Members were also present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Nine of 23 Starred questions (requiring oral answers) on the agenda, related to Irrigation Department, were taken up. All these queries were responded to by the relevant minister. Additionally, Members asked 18 supplementary questions.
- Members of PTI and PML-N tabled two Calling Attention Notices. These were about the killings in Rawalpindi on the occasion of Muharram as well as of two police officials in Faisalabad.
- Eleven MPAs – seven PML-N, three PTI and one PPPP – expressed their views on law and order in the country that consumed an hour and 28 minutes of the proceedings.
- Nine Adjournment Motions were presented in the House. The motions were related to release of funds for MPAs, education, health, infrastructure development, killing of a boy in torture cell, eatable commodities and increment of pensioners ordered by Supreme Court.
Order and Institutionalization
- MPAs raised four Points of Order which consumed five minutes of the sitting.
- There were no incidents of protest, walkout and boycott.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization, a member organization of FAFEN
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